Quintet of debutants to step out at Ashburton for Nairn
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Paul Nairn is looking forward to heading to Ashburton on Sunday where he will line-up a handful of debutants, including four juveniles.
Four-year-old gelding Tu Tangata will kick-off the day for the Leeston horseman, who will also take the reins behind the son of Waterloo Sunset in the Happy Birthday “Trevor Robertson” Trot (2400m).
Tu Tangata has been in good form in his workouts and trials in the lead-up to his debut and Nairn is confident of a good result should his gelding bring his manners.
“I think he should acquit himself well, as long as he doesn’t make a mistake,” Nairn said.
“He has generally been quite a good beginner. I would like to think that he is a good chance of getting a bit of money.”
Later on the card, Nairn will have four juveniles make their debut in the Gavin Douglas 2YO Mobile Trot (1700m).
“They are all typical young trotters, they are a work in progress, but we are ready for a run,” he said.
Nairn purchased High Noon out of R & J Aubrey’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred Yearling Sale draft for $12,000 and he has been liking what he has seen from the Majestic Son colt to date.
“He has got a great attitude and just wants to trot,” Nairn said.
“I have just had trouble getting him nice enough gaited. In saying that, he has improved, even since his trial.
“We will give the sales race a shot if we have him good enough for that, which is on the 14th of October. That is his short-term aim.”
Nairn also has plenty of time for Majestic Son gelding Tectonic, who is out of his Group Two performer Day Of Reckoning.
“He is up with any of my other three,” Nairn said. “A week or two ago I would have said he was my best one, but he has just been off his feed a wee bit recently.
“I am just not sure whether there is something worrying him or not, but he seems fine and has been trotting fine.
Nairn’s final two representatives hail from another family he is very familiar with.
The Ivy Leg, a Father Patrick filly, is out of Habibti Ivy, who Nairn trained to win nine of her 21 starts, including the Group 1 ANZAC Cup (2200m), Group 2 New Zealand Trotting Oaks (1950m), DG Jones Trotting Cup (2810m), and the 4 and 5YO Championship (2600m).
She was also Group 1 placed in the New Zealand Trotting Derby (2600m) and Rowe Cup (3200m).
“She is very much like her mother in attitude and the way she trots. If she is as good, that would be great, but it is a bit of an unknown yet,” Nairn said.
Confessional is also from the same family, with the Father Patrick gelding out of Habibti, who boasts a similarly impressive record as her full-sister, Habibti Ivy.
Trained by David and Catherine Butt, Habibti won 16 races on both sides of the Tasman, including five at Group One level - New Zealand Trotting Derby (2600m), NSW Trotters Oaks (2400m), NSW Trotters Derby (2400m), Victoria Trotter Oaks (2240m), and the Dullard Trotters Cup (2240m).
She also won the Group 3 New Zealand Trotting Stakes (1950m), Group 3 New Zealand Trotting Oaks (1950m), Group 3 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup (2600m), and placed in the Gr.1 Northern Trotting Derby (2700m) and Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All (1950m).
Confessional pleased with his trial in the lead-up to Sunday and Nairn is hopeful he can start showing the same ability as his mother.
“There are not many bad ones from that family, they all seem pretty good horses,” Nairn said.
“He (Confessional) went well in his trial. I am looking forward to seeing him race on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Nairn said another star trotter of his from the same family, Habibi Inta, is close to resuming.
The full-brother to Habibti and Habibti Ivy hasn’t raced for nearly two years through injury, but made a pleasing return to the trials last month when runner-up to stablemate Matua Tana.
“He probably could have lined-up on Friday night, but it turned out that he had a minor stone bruise last weekend. He is a chance to go around next week,” Nairn said.
The son of Love You won 11 races for Nairn prior to his injury enforced layoff, including the Group 1 Dominion Trot (3200m) and Group 1 Harness Jewels 4YO Ruby (1609m).
It has been a frustrating time for his connections over the last few years, with the now eight-year-old entire plagued by injury.
“He had a ligament injury and he was coming back from that and then he kicked over a fence and got a nasty cut,” Nairn said.
“That put him out again for quite a few months. He has just worked up quietly through the winter and so far, so good.
“He has still got the attitude and the will.”